Over the next three days David Rawnsley and Jheremy Brown will be providing their observations from the first three (of four) days at the 2013 PG EvoShield Underclass National Championship. The event is being held at two prominent baseball complexes/spring training sites, Camelback Ranch (Dodgers and White Sox spring training) and Goodyear Ballpark (Reds and Indians).
– Jheremy Brown
first game of the day that I got to watch involved the CBA Marucci
2016 team out of California. Based off of Perfect Game's initial top
100 rankings for the 2016 class, six players on their roster are
amongst those 100, with five of them in attendance this weekend
(outfielder Blake Rutherford is also a standout wide
Allen is a 2017 grad with a very young build, but don't let that
fool you as his defensive actions play well above his years. The game
comes easy to him in the infield, with quick footwork and reads the
ball well, getting around it and working through the ball. And,
despite his size, he shows good arm strength across the diamond which
will certainly continue to get stronger with maturity.
Sabol is the younger brother of former PG All-American Stefan
Sabol and is very much a prospect in his own right. With a long, lean
and athletic frame, Sabol shows good extension from the left side
with present strength. In the game I watched he went with an outside
pitch, lining it to left-centerfield for a double. Unlike some
players his age who would attempt to pull an outside pitch and roll
over it, Sabol stayed on the pitch and barreled it up well. And even
though his next three at-bats won't pop out in the box score or stat
column, they were still telling. Facing a mid- to upper-80s
righthanded pitcher, Sabol stayed in there without intimidation and
fouled the ball straight back twice, just missing the ball. In his
final at-bat, facing the same pitcher, he just missed the pitch,
getting it more towards the end of the bat for a deep fly out to
the game for CBA was 2017 Charles Nies, a 5-foot-10, 160-pound
righthanded pitcher. Throwing from an over-the-top arm slot, Nies was
able to bump his fastball up to 82 mph with softer 11-too-5 break on
his curveball at 67 mph. He does project well, given how young he is
and how broad and square his shoulders are.
at first base Cameron Jabara was very sound, making three nice
diving plays on the three balls hit his way. Two were to his right
and one was to his left. On the two that were to his right there was
a runner on, in which he sprung back to his feet delivering a strike
to second base, nailing the runner once.
Herrera is one of the six players in the top 100 for 2016 and he
showed why when he jumped all over a hanging slider for a stand-up
double. Already showing good strength with leverage in his swing,
Herrera is certainly a bat to keep an eye on in the upcoming years.
Davis is a highly regarded prospect in the 2015 class and is
playing for GBG Marucci Navy this weekend. At the plate he shows a
very quick bat with quick hands, and he gets his hips through the
zone very well. There is some length in his swing now, but his bat
speed and pitch recognition are two very strong attributes in his
offensive game. Already 6-foot-4, Davis will continue to see power
develop in his swing as he fills out his 160-pound frame over the
next two summers.
the two innings that he was behind the plate, Ryan Fineman
played very well. His two pop times in between innings were 1.93 and
1.94, and he also showed good receiving skills, moving fluidly, and
he stuck the ball well when he caught it. He's not afraid to block
the ball either, moving well laterally and keeping his chest to the
ball to knock it down. With a strong, mature frame, he also shows
promise swinging the bat and batting in the cleanup spot for GBG.
Like Davis above, Fineman shows good bat speed and he has present
power with loud contact when barreled up.
Oklahoma Fuel 16u sent out a 2016 lefthanded pitcher, Benjamin
Crabtree, in relief that stands out at 6-foor-5, 180-pounds. He
topped out at 78 mph, but with long limbs, a slender frame, and a
quick arm, he projects for more velocity. His mechanics need some
adjustments with the biggest being the incorporation of his lower
half to drive to the plate, but he is a 2016 pitcher that has a feel
for three pitches. His fastball shows good arm-side run, and has a
feel for both a 1-to-7 curveball and a changeup.
promised I went and saw Shane Martinez again and he continued
showed off his defensive tools. He is so fluid with such easy
quick-twitch, athletic actions it's hard not to notice him play
shortstop. His first throw of the day did get away from him, but this
is partially due to him not setting his feet and rushing. Rushing is
something he doesn't have to do because of how quickly he transfers
the ball, and he has plenty of arm strength across the diamond, which
allows him time to set feet and deliver a strike.
at the same complex and the same time slot as Martinez and the Playa
Vista Orioles was the San Diego Show Blue. Getting a more extensive
look at Mickey Moniak allowed me to see his ability to hit to
all fields, hitting a double to left-centerfield in his first at-bat
of the day, before pulling a single through the right side in his
second trip. His instincts on the bases allow him to swipe bags with
in the three hole for the Show is 2017 third baseman and shortstop
Ben Rameriz, who doesn't look like a player that has been in
high school for only a couple of weeks. A lefthanded hitter with bat
speed and leverage, Ramirez made solid contact for a line drive
single and gave a glimpse of what we will see for the next four
years. He also spent some time at shortstop and was able to see him
make one play, where he was very smooth and showed good arm strength
across the infield.
on the mound and throwing a complete game for the Show was Kyle
Hurt, a 2017 righthander. His fastball topped at 82 mph in the
early going before settling in to the 79-80 mph range. Throwing from
a low three-quarters arm slot, Hurt shows a loose, whippy arm and
gets some arm-side run on his fastball.
Oklahoma played in the last time slot and rewarded the college
coaches that stuck around to watch one of the final games of pool
play. Getting things going early for the Oklahoma offense was Blake
Brewster, a University of Oklahoma commit who Jeff Dahn profiled
at the Junior National Showcase, smoking a line drive to
right-centerfield, registering 91 mph off the bat. In centerfield
Brewster got good reads on fly balls and used his speed to camp under
balls hit his way.
Goddard is a very interesting 2015 righthanded pitcher that needs
to be followed closely. Working exclusively from the stretch, Goddard
pounds the strike zone, throwing from a three-quarters arm slot. His
fastball topped at 88 mph, sitting 85-87 with hard arm-side run at
time, especially low in the zone. The ball leaves his hand easily and
a lot of his velocity come from how quick his arm is along with his
arm strength, as there isn't much lower half used in his delivery.
With the incorporation of lower half he will be able to generate more
leverage and get even better downhill plane than he currently does.
Goddard throws both a slider at 70 mph and has a feel for a nice
changeup at 73 mph with good fade and dip.
Goddard was Jonathan Davis, a lefthanded hitting catcher from
the 2015 class. In between innings he popped at 2.07 and in-game was
2.03 when throwing out a would-be base-stealer. He has sound throwing
mechanics and shows an accurate arm with good strength. He had no
problem handling velocity, receiving the ball well, and he blocked
balls in the dirt with relative ease.
their second game of the day, SACSN National won big and got
contributions from everybody in the lineup. William Guay threw
a four inning no-hitter for SACSN, striking out eight and walking
two. With a big, strong frame, Guay throws from a three-quarters arm
slot with an easy arm action, topping out at 84 mph, sitting low-80s
throughout his time on the bump.
really like what Danny Casals does defensively at shortstop,
exhibiting ease and grace, showing quick feet with a strong arm
across the diamond. He plays with confidence and shows soft, sure
hands. At the plate he hit a line drive single and was able to show
off his speed again, this time on the basepaths.
Dean is a well-built 2015 outfielder from San Diego, Calif. who
attends Poway High School. He collected two doubles in the game, both
hard hit balls past the third base bag, one on the ground, one line
drive. The combination of his strength, bat speed, and leverage makes
it easy to envision Dean hitting the ball a long way whenever he
steps up to the plate.
of hitting the ball a long way, Daz Cameron did just that,
sitting back on a pitch and hit it about 350 feet over the left field
fence. It's well documented what Cameron can do with the bat,
especially when he gets to swing it after walking four times in two
primary lefthanded pitcher who threw very well in their first game of
the day, Max Wotell has impressed me with his athleticism and
just how well he runs the bases. He can swing the bat a little bit
too, knocking out a triple to left-centerfield from the right side.
West Coast Mariners continued to roll out quality arms, this time in
the form of lefthanded pitcher Sage
Diehm (listed above), who David was also able to see earlier
in the day. The Idaho native topped out at 84 mph and throws from an
easy, loose arm and gets good angle on his pitches. The ball leaves
his hand easily and shows good life low in the zone. Diehm's fastball
shows some arm-side run and he has a strong feel for his low-70s
curveball with sharp break. I was told he recently committed to the
University of North Carolina and is something we will need to look
a catcher and University of
Washington commit, displayed sound defensive tools and a quick bat
from the left side. He also has a high baseball IQ and a strong
approach in the box. For example, he stepped up to the plate with a
runner on third with one out. Rather than going up there swinging
freely, Irvine was looking for something he could pull to the right
side, and he did just that, grounding out to second base and driving
in the run for his team.